Axle Pads Vs Weighbridges

The overloading of commercial goods vehicles in the U.K. costs the public an estimated £50M a year through additional wear and tear caused to roads and bridges.[i]

It is illegal to load your vehicle over its weight limit and penalties for doing so can be substantial, ranging from hefty fines for your company to imprisonment of the vehicle’s driver.

As a responsible business owner you may find that you have a need to weigh your commercial vehicles regularly – this may be once a day or multiple times per day.  

You may have decided to purchase a solution to weigh your vehicles but you’re wondering which is a better product to use – the Axle Pad or the Weighbridge?

The answer really comes down to your business’ needs.


Axle Pads

Axle Pads are small, portable instruments - they take up relatively little space and are a cost-effective solution for smaller businesses.

You can choose either a two-pad system or a four-pad system. A two-pad system will be sufficient for axle weighing, and you can add the two axle weights together to give you the total weight of the vehicle. A four-pad system can be used to get individual corner or wheel weights, and will provide you with a more accurate total vehicle weight.

Axle pads can be stored in the vehicle if necessary and used anywhere (on flat, hard ground) the driver has the need to weigh the vehicle.

Many models are wireless and use rechargeable batteries to function – very useful for using while out and about.

Some Axle Pad models can weigh vehicles of up to 30000kg (these will be the higher specification models and will cost more than the lower weight limit models).     

Axle Pads are built to a high Ingress Protection (IP) rating which means they are water and dust resistant – a very useful feature for a country prone to wet weather.

pit mounted vs surface mount weighbridges   


A weighbridge is a large, robust structure which is usually permanent (although Solent Scales do hire Weighbridges so they don’t have to be permanent). They are static structures which allow for easy drive-on-weigh-drive-off functionality.  

Weighbridges require a considerable amount of space, for more information visit our blog How Much Room Do You Need For A Weighbridge.

Modular weighbridges such as the Uniweigher™ gives companies the flexibility to join 8 metre sections together to create a larger weighbridge, while maintaining the capability to be used individually, as separate weighbridges. This is a great space saving feature for smaller premises.   

A weighbridge would be a beneficial investment to a company with the need to weigh vehicles of varying sizes and different maximum weight limits many times a day.   

Choosing the Right Solution for your Business

Which is the best product to weigh your vehicles?

If you have a large premises and a frequent need to weigh large vehicles you will probably benefit from a weighbridge.

If you have a smaller fleet of vans which need weighing perhaps once a day, or less, you may find that axle weight pads are the best solution.

But, if you're really not sure, contact the team at Solent Scales to discuss your needs and discover the best solution for your business.

Want to know more? Click here to learn everything there is to know about vehicle overloading.


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